To our members: Thank you for your determination, solidarity, and support. You
Tonight, BC teachers voted overwhelmingly to back the call for binding
arbitration that would see an end to the strike and open schools.
In all, 30,669 teachers cast ballots.
A total of 30,490 teachers—99.4%—voted yes.
Tomorrow morning, custodial staff could be pulling chairs off desks and
teachers could be setting up their classrooms.
School counsellors could be finalizing time tables.
Teachers could be powering up the smart boards.
Classes could start this week. Children could be learning.
Unfortunately tonight, there is a single group of people standing in the way of
schools opening their doors tomorrow.
The BC Liberal government’s refusal to accept binding arbitration is now the
only reason children won’t be back in class.
Every single one of those MLAs must ask themselves what is the real reason they
are keeping schools closed.
Their refusal is certainly not in the best interests of students or the
Binding arbitration is a fair, workable, and pragmatic plan to open schools and
get children back into classrooms with their teachers.
It is a standard labour relations practice that allows an independent third
party to assess the proposals from both sides and implement a fair settlement.
We know the government has rejected the idea, but they are the only ones.
Teachers, students, parents, mayors, school boards, legal experts, union
leaders, editorial boards – British Columbians across the province have called
for binding arbitration.
This government is alone in its stance.
BC Teachers have led the way for 18 months proposing solutions and moving
This government has said no to arbitration, has tried to stall and block
mediation, and has not moved on any monetary proposals in negotiations since
June. Not one new dollar to deal with the learning needs of our students.
If we are going to get a deal and get schools open, the government must show
some good faith.
Arbitrate, mediate, or negotiate. It’s time to put public education first.
Drop E80, stop trying to protect yourself from the courts, and let’s work
together to reach a fair deal that improves funding for schools and support for
all our students.